Google and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have released a new paper discussing the role of safer chemistry and better materials selection in the circular economy. The paper identifies MaterialWise as a leader in providing the transparent, verified, and affordable data manufacturers need to make products suited for the circular economy.
High-quality, transparent and actionable data on chemical hazards and safe alternatives is integral to the promise of the circular economy to generate economic value and environmental benefit from putting materials into perpetual use cycles, the tech giant and leading global NGO dedicated to accelerating the transition to a circular economy said in the paper, “The Role of Safe Chemistry and Healthy Materials in Unlocking the Circular Economy.” The current obstacles to safer materials include the cost and difficulty of assessing chemical hazards and finding safe alternatives, the report said.
MaterialWise exists to promote better chemistry in product design and manufacturing by offering access to verified chemical hazard data, allowing companies to optimize their material choices. The organization brings immediate benefits to designers and manufacturers who already know which chemicals are in their products, the report said. MaterialWise’s platform allows companies to move beyond compliance and restricted substances lists by identifying low hazard and preferred materials to create the best product for their customers, employees and the planet, according to the paper.
MaterialWise directly contributes to increasing access to high-quality chemical hazard assessment data, which will then promote more demand for safer material innovation, two of three essential steps that Google and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation identified in the report. Once producers know what safe alternatives exist and incorporate them into their products, it will promote the third essential step, innovation in recycling technology and infrastructure.
While the cost of reliable chemical-hazard data and information about alternative materials can be prohibitive for many manufacturers, MaterialWise’s globally harmonized collection of data on hazards and safe alternatives makes that information cost-effective for even small producers. And having the data verified through peer review and formatted such that users familiar with a number of different platforms can access it effectively removes key obstacles to companies making optimal material choices for their products.